The First Billion by Christopher Reich book  » Books  »
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  • I'd read some sample chapters of Christopher Reich's Rules of Deception and was impressed by the exciting storytelling, and the authority with which Reich described a mountain climbing excursion gone awry
  • I felt that the author definitely had mastered the thriller genre
  • This part of the story is the slowest moving, but I found it fascinating, nonetheless, because of the background information it provides about how the top-tier firms compete for these lucrative contracts

    • by charles63
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      I’d read some sample chapters of Christopher Reich’s “Rules of Deception” and was impressed by the exciting storytelling, and the authority with which Reich described a mountain climbing excursion gone awry. I felt that the author definitely had mastered the thriller genre.

      Quick research on Reich revealed that he’d already written a number of thrillers, most of them set in the world of international finance. That convinced me that I definitely wanted to read more of his books. I casually followed financial news, and a thriller set in that milieu seemed a good way to learn more about the world of high finance while being entertained at the same time.

      I recently bought a copy of his earlier book “The First Billion” with high expectations, and it didn’t disappoint. It blends an intimate knowledge of investment banking with


      an exciting story line, and throws in some useful background information on cyber-technology as a bonus — just my cup of tea!

      The protagonist is likeable and resourceful. A former Gulf War pilot, Jett Gallivan is trained to stay cool under pressure, and he’s going to need to draw upon all that training as he enters the pressure cooker world of investment banking. His firm has just landed its first big account, a Russian company that plans to expand that country’s internet capacity in a big way, and it has chosen Jett’s firm to take it public and provide the necessary funds.

      It’s a dream come true, but it would be a dull novel if everything went as planned. First, Jett’s best friend, who he’d sent to Russia to scope out the company, disappears, and an influential ...


      • stock market guru writes some pretty nasty things about Jett’s new client’s business, things that seem patently false.

        This part of the story is the slowest moving, but I found it fascinating, nonetheless, because of the background information it provides about how the top-tier firms compete for these lucrative contracts. It also ratchets up the stakes for Jett as he is forced to put his firm’s and his personal assets on the line to shore up his ability to finance the deal as the negative publicity undercuts the positive buzz he was counting on.

        There’s one episode I especially liked in this section where Jett hires a hacker to discover the identity of the bad-mouthing financial guru. The columnist writes under a nom de plume, and he guards his real identity zealously, so the task is doubly difficult.

        Once

        the plot gets moving again, it goes into overdrive, and it stays that way through the end of the book. Jett find himself a wanted man, hunted by just about everybody. He must elude capture, and at the same time locate his best friend who he now knows is being held captive. And he knows he must find him before his client’s initial public offering date, because he calculates that his friend’s life will be worthless to his captives after that date.

        For me, this thriller succeeds on multiple fronts. It puts the protagonist in a seemingly impossible situation, it throws enough curves at me to keep me guessing until the end, and it grounds the yarn solidly in the real world so that it seems like something that could really happen. Who could ask for more?




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 171301951500631/k2311a0113/1.13.10
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